Wilmington rallies from early deficit to rout Char
Wilmington (69) Vs. Chartiers-Houston (38)
Mar 11, 2017
By Clayton Sauertieg
New Castle News
SHARON — The Wilmington High Boys basketball team had to weather an early storm on Saturday night.
The Greyhounds were down 16-6 after the first quarter of their PIAA Class 2A opening-round matchup with Chartiers-Houston and things weren't looking great.
The Buccaneers, employing a fundamentally sound 2-3 zone, had Wilmington searching for answers for on the offensive end of the floor.
Then, a light seemed to turn on. The Greyhounds dominated Chartiers-Houston on both ends of the floor the rest of the way to capture a 69-38 win and advance to the second round.
"A little of bit of nerves maybe set in," Wilmington coach Mike Jeckavitch said of the start. "We hadn't played in about a week and it was the first time these guys have played on this type of stage in the state playoffs. But I knew if we just kept trusting the process we'd be okay. The guys did a phenomenal job from that second quarter on."
The second quarter of the contest was vital to the Greyhounds (19-7) in their comeback. Senior Spencer DeMedal scored 12 of his team-high 19 points in the frame and Wilmington outscored the Buccaneers (19-6) 26-5 to take an 11-point lead into halftime.
"We told them that we would win the game on the defensive end," Jeckavitch said. "We knew on offense that the shots would start falling and that's what they did. We knew at some point (DeMedal) would get involved. It took us a little longer than we would have liked. We said if he can get the ball to the high-post, low-block he would get some easy layups. That's just what he does."
After the break it was more of the same for Wilmington, as sophomore Robert Pontius scored eight of his 17 points and the Greyhounds extended their lead to 50-28.
"He has ice running through his veins, I swear," Jeckavitch said of Pontius. "He's done it in football and now he's doing it in basketball. He's just so even-keeled that the moment doesn't get too big for him. He makes big threes when we need it. He gets a big rebound when we need it. He scores inside and he's been tremendous for us all year."
The Greyhounds continued to widen the gap as they closed out the game in the final quarter. Seven different players scored for Wilmington in the quarter with nine different players scoring throughout the contest.
"That's something that we've talked about all year," Jeckavitch said of his team's depth. "In order to play the defense we want to play we need to be able to rotate a few more guys in and I told some of those guys that they have to be ready. Credit to them, they always are ready."
AJ Myers led the way with 13 points for Chartiers-Houston, while Spencer Terling chipped in with eight.
Wilmington now surges on into the second round to take on a second-consecutive WPIAL representative in Bishop Canevin. The Greyhounds enter the contest looking as confident as they have all season.
"I think the confidence really started back in football season," Wilmington senior Reese Bender said. "We had a great season and a lot of the guys that play basketball also play football. We were able to keep that confidence rolling into basketball and right now we feel like nobody can beat us. So we're clicking at the right time and we're going to try to keep it going as long as possible."
Bender finished with seven points in the contest, and Jeckavtich echoed his sentiments.
"The guys are inspired," he said. "We talked about playing inspired basketball. We don't want this magical run to end and we're going to ride it as long as we can."
AJ Myers 4 3-4 13, Cam Hanely 0 1-2 1, Andrew Clark 2 0-0 5, Seth Dunn 3 0-0 6, Spencer Terling 4 0-0 8, Zach Ford 0 0-0 0, Zach Southern 0 0-0 0, Harlan Shober 1 0-0 2, Jake Cavallo 0 0-0 0, Ben Lochran 0 0-0 0, Matt Whitfield 0 0-0 0, Cody Scears 1 0-0 3. Totals: 14 4-6 38
Cameron Marett 1 0-0 2, Robert Pontius 7 1-2 17, Colton Marett 0 0-0 0, Reese Bender 3 0-2 8, Spencer DeMedal 6 7-9 19, Tyler Kish 3 0-0 8, Joey Pezzano 3 0-0 9, Danny Hanssen 1 0-0 2, Tage Kelliher 0 0-0 0, Colton Richards 1 0-0 2, Jacob Yohman 0 0-0 0, Mason Anderson 0 0-0 0, Bryce Endrizzi 1 0-0 2. Totals: 26 8-13 69.
CHAR.-HOUSTON 16 5 7 10 — 38
WILMINGTON 6 26 18 19 — 69
3-point goals — Chartiers-Houston 4 (Myers 2, Clark 1, Scears 1), Wilmington 9 (Pezzano 3, Pontius 2, Bender 2, Kish 2).